New interview from Eurogamer with Will Wright popped up shortly after delivering his speech at the BAFTA Awards event. I think he goes on to share with us his thoughts in which I don’t recall ever reading below. Some highlights: He wanted to move directly to The Sims 2 (and Spore) straight after The Sims 1 – didn’t want to do any expansions, doesn’t really keep up with The Sims anymore, finds some decisions by EA on The Sims series that annoys him, and his future gaming works.
Eurogamer: Were there too many The Sims expansion packs? Are there too many The Sims games?
Will Wright: We finished the very first version of The Sims, then it was suggested, ‘Why don’t we do an expansion pack for the game?’
I was like, ‘Let’s not bother with that. That’s wasted effort. Let’s do The Sims 2. Actually, I want to go off and do Spore.’
‘No, let’s just try it. Let’s try an expansion pack…’
I was actually one of the people saying I didn’t think expansion packs were a great idea. Boy, did I turn out to be wrong. The players loved it. It was good for the development team. They were able to get these things out without spending half their life working on them. We were able to explore what players liked and didn’t like very cheaply.
So when The Sims 2 came out we had a really good sense of which expansion packs they liked, which ones they didn’t. So it turned out the expansion packs were a great idea.
Eurogamer: Now you’ve left EA, what do you think they’ve done with your baby?
Will Wright: I don’t even keep track of it. Half of the expansion packs they showed on the montage I never played. Not once.
It’s funny. I’m like that. I make a lot of art at home, paintings and sculpture. I’m the same way with my artwork. When I’m working on it I’m obsessed with it every minute of the day. As soon as it’s done it’s like, hang it on the wall or throw it away. I don’t care. If somebody comes in and says they like it, I just give it to them.
I’m always involved in what I’m working on. But once I’ve finished it… It’s interesting to learn from and observe what the community does with it. But I don’t feel any deep attachment that I have to be driving it from that point on. I want to go off and do the new thing.
Eurogamer: So you don’t care what EA does with The Sims?
Will Wright: It would be kinda nice if they didn’t totally screw it up. I’m not controlling in terms of, call me before you do that! Oh, I can’t believe you did that! Because they’ve done The Sims things I didn’t think were the greatest ideas in the world, but it didn’t really upset me. It’s more like, OK.
Bonus article – What’s inspired Will Wright’s next game?
Will Wright is making a video game inspired by a short story by science fiction author Bruce Sterling.
The game, which The Sims creator hopes to have up and running in a year, riffs off of the Sterling short story Maneki Neko.
“He describes a karmic computer that’s keeping a balance of payments between different people, and causing them to interact with each other in interesting ways to improve their lives even though they’re strangers,” Wright told Eurogamer in a new interview conducted at E3 in Los Angeles.